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Author Archives: Rayni Peavy

Now Writing at www.RayniPeavy.com

 

Dear Friends,

After getting all the technical kinks worked out I am now writing exclusively at www.RayniPeavy.com. Please join me there.

If you are currently subscribed to receive an email notification when a new blog is posted, I have transferred your info over to the new site and you will continue to receive notifications. You DO NOT need to re-subscribe. However, please put my email address Rayni@RayniPeavy.com in your contacts otherwise future notification emails may end up in your Spam folder.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you at www.RayniPeavy.com!

 

 

 

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God Reigns! {Video Devotional}

 

 

 

Letting Go of Regret

We all have regrets. Situations where we’d like a do-over. Maybe it’s a failed relationship, a career path you didn’t pursue, words that shouldn’t have been spoken….or words you wish you’d said. One of my biggest regrets came about 10 years ago.

Her name was Tessa.

She was my favorite professor in college and I took a number of her world religion classes. She was intelligent, stylish, seemed dismissive toward Christianity and loved to talk about her specialized topic of study…Buddhist nuns in Sri Lanka. She must have respected me as a student because right after mentioning that she no longer took students on overseas trips, she invited me to attend a conference with her in India where she would be presenting a paper, with the Dalai Lama in attendance. Unfortunately I never followed through. The semester ended and that was that.

Many months later I was praying one day and felt this overwhelming sense that I should contact Tessa. That’s all I knew…just get back in touch. I assumed at the time that God was nudging me to invite her to attend a large Christian event that was coming up in the city—which I thought she would hate—so I decided I just wasn’t going to contact her.

Not long after that, I found out that Tessa had died of cancer and had been in the hospital during the period of time I felt that urgency to contact her.

In retrospect I doubt God was trying to get me to invite her to that event. More likely He probably wanted me to contact her because He knew what she was facing and that it would be meaningful to me to see her before she died, and perhaps vice versa. Maybe He wanted to use me to communicate hope and love to her.

Does my regret sound similar to yours? Or do you have others?

Use Regret as a Catalyst
As I read through the Bible I find that even God expressed regret (see Genesis 6 & 1 Samuel 15). If God, who created us, is “allowed” to feel regret, so are we. But here’s the key…instead of wallowing in regret in the present or allowing it to paralyze our future, we can use our regrets as a catalyst to something better. How do we do that? By choosing to move forward with our life.

Paul talks of this moving forward when he says, “Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” (Philippians 3:13) When we are looking ahead to the goal, to the good things to come, and when we are actively working toward that good, there isn’t much time left over to dwell on “should haves”.

Practical Suggestions For Dealing with Regret
If you find yourself dwelling on your regrets here are a few suggestions to help you move forward. Surrender your regret to God and ask Him to transform it into something good. If your regret is a result of a specific sin, turn from that sin and receive God’s forgiveness and grace. If it involves something you have done against another person, make amends as you are able. And then…just keep going. As you keep your eye on the end goal, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:34)

So…
Where are you in your life right now? And what regrets have you been holding onto? Even if you are on your death bed you can choose to let go of regret and look with hope toward Jesus. I used to think often about my regret of not contacting Tessa. But one day I decided to just hand it over to God. While I would do things differently if I could go back, today I am no longer weighed down or depressed over that regret. I have moved on.

I encourage you to set aside some time this week to take inventory and make a decision to let go of the regrets that are weighing you down. Make some new goals that make your heart sing and then move forward. Life is now.

Offering True Hospitality

It is a special experience to be welcomed into a friend’s home; to be the recipient of generous hospitality. There is a difference between entertaining and hospitality. StartMarriageRight.com recently featured a series on hospitality and I loved a quote I read there. Karen Ehman wrote in her book, A Life That Says Welcome, “Entertaining puts the emphasis on you and how you can impress others. Offering hospitality puts the emphasis on others and strives to meet their physical and spiritual needs so that they feel refreshed, not impressed, when they leave your home.”

Recently my husband and I received that kind of refreshing hospitality when we stayed in France with my dear friend Heather. We arrived worn out. We had been traveling for ten days on planes, trains, by foot and through various time zones. We were weary of staying in hotels and were looking forward to going home soon. The last stop on the trip was a few days with Heather and her family. Let me tell you how we were welcomed.

We walked into her lovely home and were greeted by a warm welcome and lovely surroundings. We were given her and her husband’s room to sleep in. They insisted. As I put my luggage in “our” room I was greeted by fresh flowers, a bottle of champagne, and a box of special chocolates from the local chocolatier. A welcome present just for us to enjoy! Heather and her family were glad we were there and we could feel it.

I was extremely tired that evening so Heather offered to cancel our dinner reservations at a special restaurant and throw something together last minute for dinner instead. We ended up going to the restaurant but I was touched by Heather’s thoughtfulness and attentiveness to my needs. When I climbed into “my” lovely bed that night I was met with soft, clean smelling sheets, a warm down comforter that enveloped me, and a pillow that was so inviting it seemed perfectly made for my head. It was a great night’s sleep and I felt like we were home.

In the morning we slept in and when we awoke we were greeted with a delicious spread of freshly baked croissants and other French goodies that Heather had gone out for that morning…just so the food would be extra fresh for us. Heather washed our clothes, made us delicious home cooked meals, showed us around town, and was attentive in little and big ways. Not only was it wonderful to spend time with a dear friend, she and her family made us feel so welcome and refreshed.

1 Peter 4:9 says, “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” You know he wouldn’t have felt the need to write that phrase unless he knew how prone we human beings are to grumbling. Offering hospitality does take effort. In other words it costs us something. However the rewards are great, not only for us but for those we are being hospitable toward. Even giving a single cup of water to someone who is thirsty is an act of hospitality.

This week I encourage you to think about how you can offer genuine, refreshing hospitality to someone who needs it, just like my beautiful friend did for me.

With this blog post I’m participating in the Great Big Friendship Blog. It’s a simple way to express your thankfulness for a friend. To read other posts on thankfulness, or to write your own, visit www.SarahCunningham.Org.

 

God’s Love Holds You

If God hadn’t been there for me,
I never would have made it. The minute I said, ‘I’m slipping, I’m falling,’
your love, God, took hold and held me fast. When I was upset and beside myself,
you calmed me down and cheered me up.” Psalm 94:17-19

How many times have I thought the same thing? How many times can I look back and know without a doubt that I wouldn’t have made it through a situation without God grabbing onto my hand and not letting go? How many times has He brought me peace and joy in the midst of emotional disaster? Can you relate with the heart of the psalmist? I know I can.

If you are in need of a reminder of God’s presence, care and love for you, it’s all through the Bible. He sure does love you and won’t stop loving you no matter what you do or don’t do. I pray that God will reveal Himself to you this week in an amazing way and that you will deeply feel His love for you.

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture…None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” Romans 8:38-39

 

Unplugging In a Plugged-in World

I used to rest well. I’m an introvert so I need to have regular times of being alone, being quiet, staring into space and thinking; resting. I used to do this a lot sitting outside, staring at nature. Sit. Think. Pray. Read. Stare. Be Quiet. Repeat. But then life got ramped up a bit.

What Steals Our Rest
In America it seems like everyone is always busy. Even as a single person I found working full-time with a daily two hour round-trip commute to be quite tiring. Add on to that keeping up with friends, family and eventually a boyfriend; church activities; hobbies; exercise and…whew! You know what I’m talking about. If all of this wasn’t busy enough then I got engaged. That’s when things went over the edge.

As I added wedding planning and pre-marriage counseling to the list, there were so many details racing through my brain at all times that even when I tried to rest and unplug…I couldn’t. My mind was always on. Because my mind got used to always being “on”, even when I wanted to just slow down, I found that I still craved some kind of entertainment. Often while I was “resting” I would be watching TV while surfing the internet while texting friends. Even though that was supposedly down-time activity, it definitely didn’t bring true rest to my body or mind. So, what does?

Re-Learning How to Rest
It’s been over 2 years since I got married and while some work changes have allowed me to step out of the frantic rat race, I’m still trying to re-learn how to rest because there are still so many things that fight to steal my attention from God.

In Matthew 11:28 (AMP) Jesus says: Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]” In this verse the Greek word for “rest” is defined as “to give rest, give intermission from labor, refresh.” Our job is to come to God, to be still with Him, and His job is to give us refreshing. But we need to make the first step to come to God.

So…

+How do you best connect with God? How do you rest with Him?

+What is stealing your rest?

+What two things can you begin to put into practice this week that will help you regularly find true rest and renewal in Christ?

Maybe you could read the Bible and pray before checking email or turning on the TV. Or actually take a lunch break and talk to God while you take a walk, or sit in silence in your car and pray. In the evenings turn off your computer, phone and TV and spend time praying with your spouse. Learn how to guard your free time and say “No” to things that you don’t need to do.

Learning to regularly rest with God refreshes us but also teaches us how to have an ever-present stillness, peace and rest within. We can learn to take that rest and peace into the chaos of the world, and still be at rest no matter what is happening around us. Just like Jesus in the boat in the storm (See Matthew 8:23-34).

I want to be at rest like that. Don’t you?

Intimacy With God

Recently I wrote an article on Intimacy With God for The Gathering Place Church women’s website.

Here is an excerpt:

We all desire to be known. To be truly known, loved and accepted in spite of our faults and flaws. We desire to have an intimate connection. To belong to someone. I believe that God has hard-wired that desire for intimacy into the core of our being because He desires to share the deepest relationship of intimacy with us. Some of us accept that call to intimacy with God. Others run from it or attempt to fill that place with relationships or activities that don’t require true intimacy.

It’s scary enough to be vulnerable with someone you trust completely; and even scarier when you don’t believe the other person will guard and protect you; when you don’t believe you can trust them with the deepest parts of you. That begs the question: How do you view God? Do you see Him as someone who is a refuge to your vulnerable and imperfect self….or as someone who is waiting to condemn you and be disappointed when you reveal you aren’t perfect? We’ll come back to that question but first….what is intimacy?

Keep reading more of this article here.